How men can stay proactive about their health and quality of lifeAppeared in Smart Business Orange County | July 2011
The reluctance of men to visit the doctor when they are sick, pursue routine check-ups when they are well and take advantage of preventive measures is taking its toll — helping explain the longevity gap where women outlive men by an average of 5 to 10 years and higher death rates men have for all top 10 leading causes of death.
To learn more, Smart Business turned to Stanley Arnold, M.D., an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, and Brian Henry, M.D., an internist at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center.
What keeps men away from needed health services?
If men took better care of themselves, they could most certainly stretch their life spans. Physician visits as well as health screenings allow us to discover undiagnosed medical concerns before they become serious, and identify and address risk factors for any subsequent diseases. While women are often more educated about and less threatened by the health care system, men can regularly put their health care on the back burner.
How does the workplace contribute to the problem?
Where should I start?
Therefore, the best time to visit a doctor is when you are well, enabling a physician to assess your overall physical condition through appropriate tests and screenings and to obtain a baseline to observe future health. Having said that, it is crucial for men — who too often ignore important symptoms — to schedule an appointment with their physician if they notice anything out of the ordinary about their health. Getting the right screenings at the right time is one of the most important things you can do for your health. As in business, one’s health is better served by being proactive.
What’s typically included in check-ups?
We know that many of the common medical conditions men face as they age can be controlled or cured if detected early. Don’t duck doctors when faced with symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath. The odds of developing diseases such as diabetes, which partly result from unhealthy lifestyles that can be exacerbated by stress, can be greatly minimized by adopting healthier habits.
Which other actions are important?
Make prevention part of your business. Offer preventive techniques, health programs and screenings at your job site or a convenient community location in partnership with physicians and local hospitals.
Also, Saddleback Memorial and Orange Coast Memorial offer business outreach programs that include onsite seminars, screenings, immunizations and executive physicals. Our memorialcare.org website can provide free online tools, guides and physician referrals that help you and your work force enjoy a healthier life.
Stanley Arnold, M.D., is an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center. Brian Henry, M.D., is an internist at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. The not-for-profit MemorialCare Health System includes Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. For additional information on excellence in health care, please visit memorialcare.org.
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